Dammit, Someone Needs to Let Me Know These Things Are Happening:

Marines and veterans are trekking more than 13 miles along a California boardwalk to raise awareness about suicide prevention—and they’ll be wearing very little in the process.

Medically retired Marine Capt. Donny O’Malley is combining some of the things Marines love most in his effort to bring awareness to a serious issue: humor and very short shorts known as silkies.

Genius. If there’s one thing that unites every veteran, it’s the love of shockingly small, tight shorts that leave pretty much nothing to the imagination. Like, you can see the veins, if you know what I’m saying. Remember the old saying: Once you’ve found a pair of silkies that fit comfortably, go one size down.

We love our silkies. We love wearing them while doing deep squats in the gym—deep to the point of making everyone just a little uncomfortable. We love wearing them in situations that polite society would dictate require more formal wear, like graduations, retirements, and weddings.

So, if you are ever holding any kind of military fundraiser, just add that the uniform of the day will be silkies and boots, and you’ll need extra help just to keep up with the massive response you’ll get. I’m just pissed that I missed this one, held in my hometown of San Diego.

Since I torture the ladies here at SOFREP with my insatiable love for mugshots of homeless men on flakka and bath salts, here’s a little beefcake for a change:

silkies
It doesn’t get more ‘Murica than this.

The former infantry officer-turned-comedian is leading participants on a 22-kilometer road march on Saturday while they each carry 22 kilograms—nearly 50 pounds—of gear. The number of kilometers they’ll walk and the weight that they’ll carry represents the 22 service members who die from suicide each day.

O’Malley and other participants will walk in little more than silkies and boots while carrying their packs. They’ll start at South Mission Beach Jetty in San Diego and will head about 13 and a half miles north to La Jolla Cove.

And of course, this is for a great cause. We here at SOFREP fully support any outreach to try and help our community with this. Our veteran suicide rate continues to be absolutely heinous, so anything we can do to help a brother or sister, let’s do it. Check up on your old comrades once in a while.

Outstanding work, Captain O’Malley!

Inept Jihadist of the Week:

Harlem Suarez wanted to bring terror to the Conch Republic, according to the FBI. The 23-year-old, also known as Almlak Benitez, was arrested after the feds claimed they uncovered a plot in which he planned to build a bomb and plant it under the sands of a Key West beach. After attacking the Keys, Suarez also wanted to plant bombs in South Beach.

Suarez came to the FBI’s attention this past April after making Facebook posts promoting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a terrorist organization also known as ISIS. Someone tipped off the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office after receiving a friend request from someone using the name “Almlak Benitez.”

WPTV-Harlem-Suarez_1438112209144_22068991_ver1.0_640_480
Strong selfie game, bro.

“Be a warrior, learn how to cut your enemies head and then burn down the body learn how to be the new future of the world Caliphate,” he wrote in one such posting.

“I need some emest from any brother. How to make a bomb send me a video or something, and what do I need to make it,” he wrote in another.

Harlem, look: Learn to use Google like all of the other terrorists. We aren’t going to just hand you stuff. You know, teaching you how to catch a fish, rather than giving you a fish, something something?

The PBSO then tipped off the FBI, and the agency then tracked back the “Benitez” page to Suarez’s profile that he kept under his real name.

Social media for the police is really a double-edged sword, isn’t it? On one hand, police now have to put up with being surrounded by onlookers holding cell phones and screaming in their faces when they have to bust a few heads.

But on the other, it must be tremendously easy to catch these dopes on the Internet. They announce to the world what they intend to do, for god’s sake. The cops just keep track of whoever types out, “ISIS bomb-making materials” into Google. Piece of cake. And…now I’m being tracked. Shit.

That other profile remains mostly private with little information available to the public other than that he liked some pages, including those of Waka Flocka Flame and the Poltergeist movies. Though, Heavy.com found that according to an update on a friend’s page, Suarez, who lived at home with his parents, was at Bare Assets strip club in Key West and wrote, “I’m ready to make it rain while I’m blowing up.”

There you have it. If you listen to Waka Flocka Flame, you are a terrorist. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve screamed that into someone’s face, I’d have many nickels. Many, many nickels. He is terrible.

This seems to be another in the long series of would-be jihadist oafs who have these twisted fantasies about “doing something.” It’s hard to take them too seriously, but then again, you never know. I bet a lot of people didn’t take the Tsarnaev brothers seriously either, and look what happened there. That’s the problem for the FBI: trying to monitor thousands of these losers and determining who might actually present a threat.

America Outraged Over Thing It Didn’t Know Existed a Week Ago:

(CNN) Dr. Walter Palmer is nowhere to be found.

The Minnesota dentist has gone underground in the onslaught of criticism after he killed a prized African lion named Cecil.

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise; an angry horde of Cecil supporters is calling for his head to be mounted on a wall.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding the lion’s killing.

A bumbling rich guy did what rich men have been doing since time immemorial: He paid some shady locals a bunch of cash so he could shoot something and mount its head on his wall. Only this time, it turns out that the goddamn lion is like a local celebrity. Whoopsie.

So now all of the people who couldn’t give a shit about Zimbabwe are passing this around on Facebook. They found 200 people protesting at the dude’s dental office. 200 people! You can’t find 200 people to give the slightest damn about anything related to a human, but for Cecil, they couldn’t chant fast enough. Palmer could have hunted a human Zimbabwean and been in less trouble.

I have no great love for big-game hunting, but come on. This poor schmuck had no idea about all of the shadiness, I’m betting. He hires a couple guides, gives them a ton of money for fuel, ammo, and the requisite bribes, and he shows up expecting everything has been taken care of. The big Bwana is here to kill a lion, and they delivered him a lion. Like he’s supposed to know this lion is like the Tom Cruise of lions?

Then all of the has-been celebrities started weighing in:

Yeah, I couldn’t resist. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, see this.) I mean, she tweeted out the guy’s home address, so I figured she deserved some perspective.

And the reaction from Zimbabwe was great. At first they were like, “Who in the hell is this Cecil the Lion that the honkeys keep screaming about?” Lions get killed over there all the time. But, then, having been whitesplained that this is an unacceptable outrage, they figured they could get a little something out of it:

Zimbabwe has started extradition proceedings and hopes the United States will cooperate, said Oppah Muchinguri, the African nation’s environment minister.

Walter Palmer “had a well-orchestrated agenda which would tarnish the image of Zimbabwe and further strain the relationship between Zimbabwe and the USA,” Muchinguri said.

Translation: You wouldn’t want to have us say we’re displeased with you, would you? Send Walter Palmer to us. And…send a check for our trouble.

Editorial Note: Last Week’s Roundup Was Biggest Ever:

The response we got last week was massive. Thousands of you checked out my view of the armed citizens showing up at recruiting centers, and we had some great commentary going back and forth. Was I right? Maybe! As you can see, reception to the article was mixed:

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Thank you! Doesn’t get any more mixed than that. Seriously, we do read the comments. This comment won the thread, I think:

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 5.05.04 PM

You’re right, Jon. Finally, something we can all agree on.

We get to respond a lot more at length over at the *SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT* SOFREP.com page, where we try to engage as many people as we can. You should join up so you, too, can write long, angry essays about how wrong I am. I love it.

One of the guys who was in the picture I used for the header emailed in. He wasn’t too happy. Here’s an excerpt from my response to him. TRIGGER WARNING FOR DEATH DEALING:

Look, there may come a day when ISIS is landing a 1000 guys on the beach here in San Diego, and it’s go time. Then, safety be damned, (name withheld), I’ll grab my shit and pour into the street with the rest of you and then it’s game the fuck on. I’ll take command of Sector South SD and we’ll kill the shit outta some people. BUT THAT TIME IS NOT YET NIGH, (name withheld). We can afford to think about this calmly and execute it rationally.

Go read the whole thing. It was fairly cordial.

It’s hard to respond too much to the Facebook page comments. I have a life, after all. I’m not going to spend all freaking day arguing with Brett the White Liberal From Manchester about whether Caitlyn Jenner is a man or not. But the website comments I’ll get into for sure. Go join. It’s practically free.

Trial Continues for Marine Accused of Killing Transgender Filipina:

The defense case for a U.S. Marine accused of killing a transgender Filipina during a port call is set to begin Monday, according to Philippine media.

Prosecutors say Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, killed Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude last Oct. 11. Laude was strangled and drowned in a toilet, The Associated Press reported.

Pemberton is alleged to have killed Laude after discovering she was transgender, the AP said, citing Philippine state prosecutors. The pair met at a red-light district disco while Pemberton was bar-hopping with other Marines after joint U.S.-Philippine military exercises, according to the prosecutors cited by the AP.

The trial opened in March with testimony from a witness who placed Pemberton and Laude at the crime scene, a seedy hotel in Olongapo, prosecutor Emilie Fe de los Santos said.

Another Marine, Lance Cpl. Jairn Michael Rose, testified that, after the pair returned to their ship on the night Laude died, Pemberton told him: “I think I killed a he or she,” according to the Philippine Star newspaper.

This is pretty awful. This guy is going to be in for a bad time. It’s in the United States’ best interest to maintain good relations with the Philippines, with our huge bases there and all. The guy must have just flown into a fit of rage over the little surprise that he discovered back in the hotel room.

Transgenders, for your own safety, you should probably make it perfectly clear what you are packing down there before you leave a public place with a stranger. This is just common sense. Don’t start giving me the blame-the-victim lecture, either. Maybe if someone had told that to Laude, Laude would still be alive. It’s too late, now.

Are Marine Officers Less Intelligent Than They Used to Be?

When the United States ended the draft and transitioned to an all-volunteer military in 1973, there was concern about who would join and whether the transition would negatively impact the quality of the force, which many suspected it would.

As it turns out, the quality of the force as a whole actually increased over time. In 1977, 27.1 percent of new enlisted recruits met the military’s standard for being “high quality,” meaning that they possessed a high school diploma and above-average intelligence relative to the U.S. population as a whole. Decades later, at the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, 60 percent of new enlisted recruits met the high quality standard.

But what about military officers?

marine01

After analyzing test scores of 46,000 officers who took the Marine Corps’ required General Classification Test (GCT), Klein and Cancian find that the quality of officers in the Marines, as measured by those test scores, has steadily and significantly declined over the last 34 years.

The GCT is taken by every marine officer candidate at The Basic School. So, what is behind this? The two researchers came up with an interesting theory:

So what’s causing this steady decline in GCT scores? According to Klein and Cancian, the decline in officer quality might actually have to do with the fact that more people are receiving college degrees than ever before: The authors note that the decrease of GCT scores over time correlates to an increase in the college participation rate during that same period.

In other words, because so many more people receive college degrees today than they did in 1980, the pool has been diluted with people who, in the past, might have foregone college for something else. Sure, why not? I did find it funny how the authors hastened to add this at the end:

What they find very much disputes claims that affirmative action or changing demographics have played any role in declining officer quality: “We find, in fact, a positive association between African-American officers and mean GCT score, perhaps because recruitment efforts by the Marine Corps have attracted minority officers who are more qualified than the typical college graduate,” say Klein and Cancian. The authors also note that the proportion of Hispanic officers has no statistically significant impact on the decline in score.

Your Goodthink has been noted, comrades. Extra rations for you this week.

Rio De Janeiro is Basically Filled With Poo:

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Athletes in next year’s Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.

An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues—results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Ewwww. Well, wait. Come on, they’re probably just exaggerating. You know these hysterics with their “doctors” and “scientists.” How bad could it really be?

As a result, Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into contact with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7 million times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach.

Mother of God. You win this round, science.

Seriously, how gross is that? The article mentioned that it would take only a couple of teaspoons of the poo-water for you to get ill. I get more than that in my sinuses after just getting one sweet wave here in SoCal. And this isn’t only diarrhea. You’re looking at hepatitis and all kinds of gross contaminants in that sludge. I know this is like the culmination of a dream for a lot of people, but they should consider withdrawing in protest. No medal is worth you coming down with hepatitis. Sick.

Don’t Call Him Bambi:

Donnie Dunagan is a hard-nosed Marine, a highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam War who served for a quarter-century. First drafted in the ’50s and subsequently promoted 13 times in 21 years—a Corps record at the time, he recalls—Dunagan found the Marines a perfect fit. That is, so long as he could keep a secret.

A dark reminder of the past Dunagan left behind still lurked unspoken: He was Bambi.

This is Donnie Dunagan in 1974, during his time in the Marine Corps. Even if anyone had known, it's tough to imagine anyone calling him "Maj. Bambi" to his face then anyway.
Yeah, you go call him Bambi.

As a kid, Dunagan did a brief stint as a child actor, and he was tapped by Walt Disney to be the voice of the lead in the 1942 Bambi, the now-classic animated film about a young deer learning about life in the forest. And not one of his fellow Marines knew.

The whole story is great. Head over to NPR to read about how Dunagan was “outed” to one of his commanders. It’s hilarious.

One minor irritation, and I suspect it is because this is NPR we’re talking about: The story works because a cute-voiced little kid grew into this gruff, highly decorated war hero, right? So maybe tell us just a little bit about what he did: some of his decorations, an example of some of the action? The “highly decorated veteran” is all that we got out of the writer. Get it together, guy.

USAF Sergeant Saves Lives:

FRESNO, Calif. – An Air Force sergeant is credited with saving two men after an accident left them fighting for their lives in a Fresno canal.

Fresno police say cyclist Paul Alley set off a chain of dangerous events when he cut in front of a white Acura driven by Kou Thor, causing him to plunge into a roadside canal.
For more on this story, follow this link.

“I thought that if I swerved to the left, you know, I’ll miss him and stuff, but my car ended up swerving, and all I notice is–I woke–I opened my eyes and I was in water,” Thor later said.

Alley tried to help.

“He swerved, then ended up in the canal, so then I dropped my bike and ran over here, and then I saw he was moving around inside, but then it didn’t look like he could get out, so I jumped in the canal and opened up the door for him,” he explained.

Fully submerged, the cyclist and driver were struggling.

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jeff Ginther was nearby and sprang into action.

Incredible! What happened next?

Well, I don’t really know, because the news story just kind of stops right there. There was some buggy autoplayer news video at the link, but I could never get it to play properly. This is why we type things out. Looking in your direction, Las Vegas Action News team. Apparently Master Sgt. Gunther saved them, and there was much rejoicing.

And just a little reminder to the “cyclists”: We all know you think you own the road, but please keep in mind that my beloved Toyota 4Runner Limited outweighs you by about 4000 lbs. Might not be the best idea to go cutting people off, whether accidentally or to prove a point. And yes, that’s a thing.

Army Way Short on Recruiting Goals:

WASHINGTON — The Army is nearly 14 percent short of the recruits it will need to fill its ranks, marking the first time in six years—and only the third in the last 20—that it may fall short of its recruiting goal for the year.

The Army’s top officer for recruiting, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, acknowledged in an interview with USA TODAY on Thursday the difficulties in attracting young men and women to the active-duty Army in an improving economy and the greater effort his recruiters are taking to find new soldiers.

“It is a challenging mission, and we’re not going to get around that,” Snow said. “And there are indications that the economy is going to continue to improve. ”

Snow, who took command this summer, expressed confidence that recruiters would hit the goal of 59,000 new recruits when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The shortfall in recruiting comes as the Army is planning to pare 40,000 soldiers from its ranks over the next few years. Despite that reduction to 450,000 men and women, the Army still needs about 60,000 young recruits a year to fill out its combat and support units.

Yep, even with big cuts to the Army, you still need new bodies every year to replace the old ones. You had to know that the fact that over two thirds of the nation’s high schoolers are ineligible for military service right off the bat would hurt us eventually. A lot of it had to do with the usual suspects—obesity and tattoos.

Start dieting and doing pushups, young fatties. And do yourselves a favor: Don’t get any tattoos on your hands, face, or neck until you’re at least 40 years old. By then, you’ll have realized that your youthful dreams of accomplishment are shattered and that you really don’t have anything to live for. Then, and only then, can you live your dream of tattooing “hold fast” on your knuckles while you collect your unemployment check.

And for those of you that put those gauges in your ears…that earlobe is never growing back. Just thought I’d remind you as you stare mournfully at those quarter-size holes in your ears, ya dummies.

81-Year-Old Man Arrested for Bush Sex:

A Connecticut octogenarian is facing criminal charges after he was spotted, sans clothing, “humping” a bush outside his home, police report.

Wallace Berg, 81, was arrested Monday on public indecency and breach of peace charges in connection with the incident last month at his Stratford residence.

According to cops, a neighbor called 911 to report that Berg was walking around his backyard in the nude and had communed with a bush.

Luckily, we here at the SOFREP News Roundup were able to obtain this exclusive picture of the suspect:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participates in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.  Sanders will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday, presenting a liberal challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a "democratic socialist," will follow a statement with a major campaign kickoff in his home state in several weeks. Two people familiar with his announcement spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity to describe internal planning. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Nah, I’m kidding. I couldn’t find a mugshot. That’s Marxist Trotskyite Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. But can’t you picture him doing this?

The neighbor, who filmed Berg’s antics and later showed the video to police, told cops that he confronted the pensioner. In response, Berg “stopped the indecent behavior, covered himself with a grill cover, apologized to him and then went into the house,” police reported.

Berg, a retired embalmer, is free on $10,000 bond and is scheduled for an August 5 Superior Court hearing.

Thank you, baby Jesus, for grill covers. I want to put this out publicly to that home owner: SOFREP will pay you a lot of money for that video, if you’re interested. A lot. I’m talking, like, three figures. But that’s just a starting point.

I suspect these embalmers have done a lifetime of damage to themselves by being around all of those chemicals for so many years. If you know any embalmers, try to sneak into their basement. I bet they have some creepy stuff.

Thanks for all the messages on the twit machine. Find me @BKactual. 

(Featured image courtesy of pulptastic.com)